Standard for Employment
I learned a new way of looking at policies recently. The standard ways that you do things at your workplace, how you treat and manage your employees, your day-to-day practices—these are your HR policies and procedures, regardless of whether you’ve written them down or not.
We know that the AODA employment standards requirements are demanding because we have heard about the challenges from those organizations with 50+ employees that were obligated to comply in January 2016. Smaller employers with fewer resources may need additional assistance to keep track of the project, including reviewing, updating and implementing many HR forms and documents such as job offers, employment contracts, job postings and applications to ensure they are consistent with the new accessibility standards.
Looking at an Ontario Human Rights Commission discussion paper released in 2001, the aspects that make what is called intersectionality so appealing to a modern view of identity is that it does not pigeon hole a person as being represented by a sole code ground, or identity that is legally protected against discrimination.
The gender wage gap steering committee recently submitted its final report to the Ontario government. The main finding was that the gender wage gap has not been closing and the government must take action. Further, the committee stated that there is much that employers can do immediately in order to ameliorate the situation.
We need to take a step back and reassess our assumptions that preclude those who are marginalized. We need to get a sense of how we can think inclusively while building roads to view human diversity as more than a product of a singular association or identity. The concepts of accommodation, accessibility and inclusion that an organization uses have to be robust enough to pay respect to the fact that people are a system of identities that continuously flow and change.
The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: legislative amendments that expanded the access to Employment Insurance benefits; a case where a former employee was awarded six months’ compensation in lieu of notice after she had declined a severance package offered to her by the employer; further recent updates regarding the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
When creating policies that make statements about accessibility, attempts should be made to view disability as a social system instead of a schedule of impairments in order to align an organization’s forward movement with principles of Human Rights. Also, the time is long past due for an evaluation of how intersecting identities can create unique accessibility and accommodation needs.
On Thursday June 23, 2016, the Ontario government announced that they are considering mandatory work experience programs for all high school, college and university students.
Where the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario finds there is a separate proceeding that may involve similar facts, the Tribunal has discretion to defer consideration of an application until the proceeding has been completed. Such was the question, whether or not to defer the application in the recent interim order in West v.Yogen Fruz Canada Inc.
Mastering the ins and outs of the duty to accommodate under human rights legislation is hard. In fact, some would go so far as to say impossible. It’s no wonder this topic has floated to the top of the list of challenges faced by HR practitioners. I’ve given this some thought and come up with a number of rules that I feel should be followed in all cases.
Ontario Court of Appeal upholds decision to reinstate disabled employee with 10 years back pay: Will human rights litigation ever be the same again?
I predict a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision will have a significant impact on human rights litigation. In particular, I suspect disabled employees will start asking employers to find or create alternative positions for them if they cannot perform their job duties because of a disability, and terminated employees will start asking adjudicators to reinstate them with full back pay.
Dispensaries are currently undergoing a series of raids as TPF personnel are cracking down on store fronts and businesses that are working outside the law. The surge in organizations selling cannabis and cannabis products might well be egged on by the looming eventuality that cannabis will either become decriminalized or legalized in the near future.
Many people across the world face allergies that have an effect on every aspect of their lives, including the workplace. These allergies can impose difficulties on either being in a workplace or performing certain tasks in their job. One thing for employers to note is that if the allergy is severe enough, it would probably be considered a disability and must be accommodated appropriately.